Cloud computing is here to stay. Considered a functionality that has the potential to completely alter the way business is done; cloud computing is the future of storage technology. So, when a business decides to change to the cloud, what factors does it need to take into consideration? Should the transition from traditional to cloud computing be done at one stroke, or should it be gradual? What kind of service provider does it select? What guarantees should it expect? These are some of the typical questions that can come up.
When an organisation decides that cloud computing is certain, it needs to take a few important decisions. It first needs to know that although cloud computing is an enormous cost saver; it comes with a few risks, the most important of which is data security. The organisation has to understand that data can be vulnerable in an environment of multiple users accessing the same remote server. To offset this disadvantage, the organisation has to set up reviews and frameworks for security. It then has to allow the service provider to place data on the cloud.
Completely secure cloud computing could be a scenario of the future. However, at this stage, although most organisations are taking to cloud computing, it is still an evolving technology. Having said this, organisations can opt for service providers that provide the best available guarantees of security. To provide this, they have to comply by a few standards. The organisation can check if the service provider/s complies with these guidelines and has these as part of the Service Level Agreement for instance.
Analyse pros and cons threadbare
The organisation has to decide which data is more important to it and which has lesser importance. It can start off by initially placing its less important data on the cloud. It can use this as a dry run to find out the effectiveness of maintaining data on the cloud. If it is convinced about the safety and security of cloud computing, it can go ahead and start placing other more important data on the cloud. Here too, a phased approach is advisable, because the importance and priority of data can change over time.
An organisation could also conduct an internal study of the business and operational risks involved in the process. It could take its senior management into consultation and come out with a study plan that will objectively assess the risks and advantages of opting for the cloud. It should understand what methods of encryption have gone into the storage.
Another critical factor to consider is what kind of backup plans the service provider offers. Still in its growth stage, cloud computing can lead to data outage. This is something service providers have to take care of, and organisations could get written guarantees from them to prevent this kind of issue.
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